Bloemekenswijk – Profundo programme

Bloemekenswijk
Profundo programme
Moskee Tevhid Camii
09 October 2017

Frank, his hat and Mr Ali

Chairman of the Mosque, Margot, Frank and I had our lunch in the Tevhid Camii Mosque


Mr Ali, Frank, his hat, Margot and the Mosque chairman

Bloemekenswijk
Francisco Ferrerlaan
09 October 2017


Tram 1 to Flanders Expo via Sint-Pieters


Tram 1 to Flanders Expo via Sint-Pieters


Tram 1 to Wondelgem

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Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

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Bloemekenswijk – Profundo programme

Bloemekenswijk
Profundo programme
Sint-Vincentius kerk
09 October 2017

Sint-Vincentius kerk

Sint-Vincentius kerk

Sint-Vincentius kerk
With Frank’s hat

Bloemekenswijk
Profundo programme
Moskee Tevhid Camii
09 October 2017

Nice gentleman making me cups of coffee

Frank talking with his hands

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Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Published in: on October 20, 2017 at 6:08 am  Leave a Comment  

The Tribune – UK Sikhs seek recognition as ethnic group

Sujinder Singh Sangha

The recognition of Sikhs in Britain as a minority ethnic population and its monitoring, would provide a mechanism to analyse how Sikhs are faring in view of racial discrimination and hate crimes.

– Discrimination against Asian Black and Minority Ethnic (ABME) people is rooted in prejudice relating to the colour of skin, visible appearance, religion, culture, attire, language or origin

– Ethnic data influences the public decision-makings related to employment and services, the reliability of census data on the ABME people is essential for equality monitoring.

– Only a targeted counting and monitoring of Sikhs as a minority religious as well as ethnic population could enhance the census data.

– Some believe it may result in alienation and under-counting of Sikhs, as many may declare their ethnicity as Indian, Punjabi or another which may worsen the numerical position of Sikhs.

– The bid in Britain for Sikh ethnic identity and monitoring should be seen as integral to the Indian/ABME drive for social justice.

The Sikhs in Britain have relentlessly campaigned since the 1960s to have their basic rights established as a distinct religious minority. A natural next step for them is to seek recognition as a minority ethnic population by the census mechanisms of the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS is being convinced to introduce an ethnic category for Sikhs, in addition to the religious one which already exists. The ONS is in the process of consulting and testing the 2021 national census questionnaire for approval by the parliament.

The national census data provides a count of all people and households every 10 years to enhance the provision of population statistics that allows a comparison of different groups of people.

The national population statistics are used to carry out research and assessment to develop policy, strategy and resourcing to address the changing needs and expectations of the stakeholding population. The nature of data influences the decision-making related to employment and services.

So, the reliability of census data on Asian Black and Minority Ethnic (ABME) communities is essential for equality monitoring. The evaluation of monitoring of outcomes indicates the effectiveness of equality measures applied to improve social justice.

The Sikhs have requested the ONS to amend the census questionnaire by adding the Sikh ethnic category alongside the religious one to enhance the provision of data. They have also mobilised the parliamentarians to support them.

A news report in The Tribune, Chandigarh (“100 UK MPs back non-Indian ethnic identity move for Sikhs”, September 20, 2017) noted “New Delhi is unlikely to be amused if the demand (for Sikh ethnic identity) is granted; which means such an outcome has the potential of seriously impacting bilateral relations between India and Britain.”

This view takes the issue to a different level as outlined by the newly elected MP Tanmanjit Singh Dhesi: “The Office of National Statistics (ONS) gave guidance in 2003 and 2011 to public bodies — including education, health service, local authorities and police — to only use ethnic group categories in the census for the monitoring purposes.

Hence, the community’s focus on getting a Sikh category…would be useful for stakeholders, such as those concerned with Sikh identity, discrimination and hate crime…Sikhs are a legally recognised ethnic group (Mandela V Lee, 1983) protected from discrimination under law.”

MP Preet Kaur Gill, who chairs the resurrected All-Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs (APPGBS), has written to the ONS, hoping for a positive response on the inclusion of a Sikh ethnic tick box in the Census 2021.

She has alerted the ONS that failing that, the Sikh community may resort to legal redress or seek a change when the parliament is asked to approve the census 2021 questionnaire.

The ONS, 2017, has carried out an ethnic question test involving the Sikhs in Wolverhampton and Hounslow. The indications are that the response level was a low 11.2% and 15.5%, respectively.

There is no indication that the religious affiliation and ethnic group questions are capturing different populations. All respondents who selected Sikh ethnic group also selected Sikh as their religious affiliation.

However, no one would like a re-run of the 1980s. Had the House of Lords not accepted the appeal for overturning Lord Denning’s ruling, the Sikhs would have had to take up the matter politically to seek an amendment to the Race Relations Act 1976… Section (3) which defines a racial group by reference to colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins.

The impact of Lord Denning’s ruling and press publicity gave many employers an unfair advantage and discriminatory expectation that the turban-wearing Sikhs can be asked to remove turban and not wear a beard.

The House of Lords 1983 ruling rejected the High Court’s verdict and made any discrimination against Sikhs on the grounds of wearing a turban illegal.

The Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO), of which Lord Indarjit Singh is the director, believes that the campaign for ethnic identity is misguided. It may result in alienating many and could cause an under-counting of Sikhs in Britain as some may declare their ethnicity as Indian, Punjabi or another which may worsen the numerical position of visible Sikhs.

The Sikh Federation of UK (SFUK), whose activists are campaigning for the inclusion of Sikhs as a separate minority ethnic community, disagrees with the NSO.

Lord Singh argues that to call Sikhs a distinctive ethnic minority would be against the Sikh Gurus’ teachings that all humans are of the same race, man-made divisions based on caste or ethnicity are divisive and false.

He also points out that the monitoring could give legitimacy to discriminate against turban-wearing Sikhs, as large employers could pass the ethnic test with a few Sikhs.

However, the academic and functional definitions of ethnicity qualify Sikhs in Britain to be a minority ethnic population for counting and monitoring purposes, especially in view of over 50 years of campaigning against  discrimination and unfairness.

The ethnic identity and ethnic monitoring is a mechanism of assessing the effectiveness of affirmative actions, or analogous programmes by recording the ethnic background of the recruits.

The recognition of Sikhs in Britain as a minority ethnic population and its monitoring, would provide a mechanism to analyse how Sikhs are faring in view of racial discrimination and hate crimes.

Only a targeted counting and monitoring of Sikhs as a minority religious as well as ethnic population could enhance the census data and the eligibility for monitoring.

The writer is former principal & chief executive of a leading UK Further Education College
I used to work with Sujinder Singh when he was Principal of Stockton Riverside College and I was the national development officer of Faiths and Beliefs in Further Education (FBFE)

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/comment/uk-sikhs-seek-recognition-as-ethnic-group/480139.html

Braemstraat – Bloemekenswijk

Braemstraat
08 October 2017

Evi: Dried mushrooms

Bloemekenswijk
Profundo programme
Moskee Tevhid Camii
09 October 2017

9 am at the Mosque

Students in the prayer hall of the mosque

Posing for the picture !

Group photo

To see all my pictures:

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Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Leuven NMBS

Leuven NMBS
07 October 2017

Resurfacing work at platform 1 still going on !


Both track 1 and 2 not in use


Train to De Panne via Brussel Airport


Track 3, the train taking me back to Gent

Next station Brussel Noord

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Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Gent Korenmarkt & Gent-Sint-Pieter

Gent Korenmarkt
5 October 2017

Stop for Tram 4, Bus 3, 17, 18, 38 and 39
Tram 4 to Moscou and Tram 1 to Wondelgem


Tram 4 to Moscou

Gent-Sint-Pieter
07 October 2017

Track 19 DMU to Gerardsbergen


The new platform for track 9 and 10 is almost ready


Track 11 train to Brussel / Eupen via Leuven

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Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Gent Zuid & Gent Korenmarkt

Gent Zuid
5 October 2017

Tram 4 to Muide
I think I know the young lady in the blue jacket

Gent Korenmarkt
5 October 2017

Tram 1 to Evergem

Tram 4 to Muide
Sint-Niklaas kerk

Tram 4 to Moscou in 2 minutes
Belfort


Belfort

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Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Gent – Bloemekeswijk & Gent Zuid

Bloemekenswijk Maisstraat
Profundo Programme
3 October 2017

Royal Deanery Bloemekenswijk

Sint-Vincentius church
We visited the church in the morning

Sint-Vincentius church
In the afternoon we met with Frank who explained about the food distribution organised by the Dekenij (Deanery)

Frank on the right – students on the left

Gent Zuid
5 October 2017

Tram 2 to Zwijnaarde

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Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Gent – Bloemekeswijk – Profundo Programme

Moskee Tevhid Camii
Profundo Programme
3 October 2017

Listening to the Buddhist teacher in the sports-hall of the Mosque
Zen Sangha zendo Gent – Elyzeese Velden 10 B

De Fontein – Maltezer Ridders
Profundo Programme
3 October 2017

Students listening to Catherine

Maisstraat
Profundo Programme
3 October 2017

We first visited a health centre under construction,
where I took no pictures

Royal Deanery – Bloemekenswijk
Frank talking to students

Symbolic building for the Bloemekenswijk

To see all my pictures:

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More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Sikh Federation – Cabinet Office Minister needs to improve his understanding of the legal status of Sikhs

London, 11 October 2017. Yesterday Preet Kaur Gill MP challenged the Cabinet Office Minister Rt. Hon. Damian Green in Parliament on the failure of public bodies to monitor Sikhs as part of the Race Disparity Audit. His response showed his lack of understanding of the legal status of Sikhs as an ethnic group as well as a religion.

Preet Kaur Gill the Labour MP from Birmingham, Edgbaston and the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs asked:

“Why have Sikhs, who are recognised as a separate ethnic group in legislation, been excluded from the audit? Will he put that right by ensuring that Sikhs are not further discriminated against and that the 2021 census will include a Sikh ethnic tick box?

Damian Green replied: “Religion is not routinely collected in many of the 130 data sets, so it would be impossible to include. It is not a question of excluding any particular group.”

This demonstrated the Minister who must in the next few months recommend to Parliament the Census 2021 questions does not understand the legal status of Sikhs as not only a religion, but also as an ethnic group.

Watch the relevant clip from the debate using the link below:

Gurjeet Singh
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)

Posted by:
Sikh Federation
<sikhfederationuk@yahoo.co.uk>